Take Only What You Need But No Matter What Keep Going

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Dear ~K,

It has been quite a year! Too many days stuck inside and a life without our normal everyday movements. So much hatred and sadness, so many people hurting, struggling and suffering. It is a lot to take in everyday, often with no escape, and no place to go, like so many of us stuck at home with everyday pressures feeling more like a pressure cooker. On top of all the crazy outside I am dealing with a marriage that is failing, my world feels extremely small, smothering and so overwhelming and vast with loneliness all at the same time.

If I could summarize my days for the vast majority of the past year has felt stuck on repeat.  Things go smoothly for a while then they explode in front of me, like bombs going off in every direction and no place to run or hide.  My husband and I argue all the time, in front of our kids, which I hate but even if I try to hide or end the argument he persists and it escalates until one of us leaves the house or finally just stops answering.  The depth of the cracks in our marriage are deep, I am not sure they can be mended and I don’t believe my husband has the maturity, emotional or other wise, to make counseling work.  I also know I have work of my own to do to be more caring and show empathy and understanding. 

Although, it may appear this summary of the state of our relationship is cold or unfeeling it is not.  There is no need to say more here about that topic. I will have to make decisions in the new year that may be difficult but also owe it to myself, my husband and my kids to work on myself and my sobriety before I go making huge changes that have consequences on others I care about deeply. 

Looking back on 2020 the “major” events that happened, many have to do with my boys and the outside world. To start, I am proud of my kids they have done a very good job, during this pandemic, trying to manage their studies, grades and sports all while being quite isolated from their friends and normal life. I had an awesome review at work and proud of my accomplishments, I also applied for a new role which I will be in throws of interviewing for as we return in the new year. My younger son made a great lacrosse team and my older son was on fire for basketball over the summer and made his high school freshmen team as well.  My dad made it through two surgeries and is healthy! My father-in-law also made it through a minor surgery and still doing well in light of the onset of some memory issues.  Both my children got awesome grades even during a pandemic. I feel fortunate that our boys could go back to school with masks and have some normal days and be around other kids and learn in a classroom setting. My husband has been interviewing and will hopefully find a job in 2021.

I feel disproportionately lucky about the state we live in and the fact our boat club stayed open this summer.  We have been lucky in the sense that we are not locked down like others are but at the same time it is scary as you watch the numbers rise and the people around really not caring about others when they refuse to wear a mask.  My family and I were so lucky that we could go out on the boat, be on the lake and away from it all for hours. It was a wonderful escape for the kids and our family. Although not free of the fighting still a good escape for all of us from the boredom of the everyday of COVID life.

As I think back on 2020, I have learned many lessons, a few I would like to share include 1) I have matured a great deal over the past two years alone and I am proud of myself. I react differently in so many situations, I have the clarity to not tell myself stories, I am not drunk or hungover all the time and I don’t wake up not know what the hell I might have said or done the night before 3) I have grown in my sobriety, realizing that my journey may not always be a straight line and when my sobriety was meant to stick and I was ready for it to stick it would and has 4) I know everything is not my fault and recognize I need therapy and that I has many things I need to work through to support my personal and emotional growth, not to mention my sobriety 5) I am leaving space and time to let my emotions and understanding of situations unfold, not running from one fire to the next, that usually set myself to divert from the real things I need to sit with and give time to 6) I don’t need to be codependent and others can figure it out for themselves (this one is a work in progress) 7) Other peoples’ reactions and choices really don’t have much to do with me and I can just them go 8) I am a strong woman who is smart and learning more about myself everyday 9) Being sober is not just a label for me it is the pursuit of my best life 10) It is real life to feel all your feelings and have real authentic relationships 11) Sometimes things fall apart so you can rise again from the rubble even stronger. 

To move forward we often have to move through the unknown or dark places.  I feel like I have discovered quite a few things about myself this year and I know there is much I want to leave behind.  Though somehow I struggle to put my thoughts together in a cohesive manner about what to leave behind in 2020.  Not because I don’t have baggage or instances that I want to leave there – maybe I just have too much that I don’t want to take forward and that is the scarier part of what to leave behind, without leaving everything.  I am going to take a crack at the major things I can think I want to leave here in this year and not take with me in 2021 or any year moving forward for that matter.

I will leave my guilt and shame over things I did or did not do while drinking over the years.  I also want to leave my anger and resentments towards those people who have made choices to harm or send ill will toward my family.  I want to move through co-dependency and leave my resentments behind against my husband. No longer will I give so much weight to what others think.  Leaving all self-doubt and guilt behind about taking time to sit with myself and discover more about myself in order to grow. I am leaving the need to disappear for the benefit of others and giving others so much power over me and my life.

There are things I also need to start doing in 2021 like looking at my own shit, getting help from a therapist to understand why I am the way I am and why I choose to drink so much.  I want to explore more about myself, learn how to write, do more outside, not be held down by others and to know how and what to fight for in order to be the best me.  I need to start recognize when I am behaving badly, even when it is for a good purpose or point and change my behavior. I need to believe more in myself and find my strength without making others feel stupid. I need to reach out and put myself out there to make friends and more connections regardless of what I believe others think.  I will stop being everyone’s keeper and start encouraging and empowering my family to do things for themselves so I don’t get resentful.

Minutes, hours, days, months and years continue to click by we can make use of them, embrace them as they come or sit on the sideline and curse them out but they will keep coming – the choose is mine what I do with my time, my days, and my life.  Starting today I choose me and all the mess, brilliance and wonder that comes with my life.  I get to take back the wheel, steer my direction but still let things unfold before me. My wish for myself and my life as I move into 2021 is to love myself more, be true to myself and be open to path that begins to show itself in this new year.

I love you and always will. You are not a lost soul, you are bright burning star that brings light to many.  Keep searching for your spark, it belongs to you and you alone!

Love you always and forever,

~K from the Hill Country 

Sitting in the reality of my silent sadness

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…always wondering if it is me.  Am I the cause, the catalyst or creator of the silence and sadness that creeps in and settles in like a thick dense fog all around me.  It is still a mystery to me whether or not this is all my fault or if I am the creator of all of the discontent. It is the question I ask so often, I am not even sure, I ever sit with it long enough to answer it, before it comes right back again.  

Now I am sitting, just sitting with all the silent, sadness that has evolved into my daily life.  I always wonder if I have built walls that don’t allow others in? Is that why I am sad and lonely? I often analyze what I could do differently in the relationship that is causing me to feel this way. But when I do play it all the way through, I often come to an understanding that I am sad and lonely because I don’t feel safe or heard.  I am not unsafe in a physical sense, it is more about not being able to share how I really feel or what is hard for me.  The reactions I get are often dismissive, or patronizing. 

When you are with a person who does not know how to be emotionally there for you or for themselves, it is like living every day with tape over your mouth.  You want to scream or cry, or literally just have a conversation about feelings but you can’t.  I am sitting with all of this so I can really understand if I am the cause of this disconnect and silence, because I can’t open up or is it that we are both too emotional stunted to dive into the realm of emotions. So, I am silent, I say nothing until I do, which typically comes out as rage.  I have so much pent up inside, that over time it just has to come out. We can call it a learned or maladaptive behavior, being childish, call it whatever you like but all it has to come out. When it does it is in a very confrontational manner that is laced in defensiveness, because by the time I say it out loud it is so pressurized there is not other way to express it.  I do try to talk about things before this point of explosion but the dysfunctional behaviors is so engrained at this point it always leads to the same outcome, screaming.

There is so much behind that last paragraph and this continued disfunction, that I am not ready to share or think is fair to share here, but the truth is there is a pattern of silence, outburst and then silence again. I know not all of this is because of me, that is the old thinking I had for so long when I was much more immature and all throughout my addiction to alcohol.  Everything was my fault, always.  But through maturity, sobriety and growth I know that is not true, it is not all my fault and I am not responsible for fixing everything and everyone. I do know I need to do the work to move forward from this place and space of sadness.

Knowing when things have ran their course or when a relationship is over is not a quick, gut reaction decision for me, I believe it takes understanding, time and contemplation, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.   

Although I say these things, I don’t know how to get there, wherever there is.  I know I am sad, very sad a lot of time, but it tends to stem from the inability to feel safe enough to talk about how I feel or what I am going through.  The sadness also stems from the fact I am lonely and really need to find connection with someone who I can share love with and others who understand my concerns and can show compassion.

I think a lot about whether a change will make it better or will I just end up more alone and sad. I believe there is work that has to be done here to help enable a path forward, whether that is on my own or together with my partner, but if the path is to stay together, so much change and growth will be required, because I know what is in place today is not healthy for us or me.

So here I sit, with my silence and sadness, hoping the answers will reveal themselves to me, because I know the way things are going, can not be the way it is supposed to be…forever.

~K from the Hill Country

1, 2, 3, 4…My Resentment Grows No More

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When you start this journey of sobriety you begin with a day 1.  Anyone who is on this journey has one, a day 1.  Some people may have many day 1’s, I know I have. As the initial days begin to tick by you start to zone in on the number of days.  Particularly in the beginning as the first days are so important and help you get the strength and excitement to keep going.  You find strength and celebration in each day. 

As the time ticks by, it can feel like a contest of sorts, but it is not.  Each journey is different and each path is our own. But still as people around you share their days you worry what if I mess up? I will fall behind, I will lose my days and the gap between us will grow.  I repeat there is no competition, only the one you create in your own mind.

Then when you trip up, relapse as some say, the clock starts again for you but not the others.  They keep going and soon I found I was far behind, wishing I was where they were. But I had no one to blame but myself.  I drank, they did not, they kept going.  

It is a very lonely feeling, one of shame, pain and angst. Questions like why can’t I do this? Why am I such a loser? When will I get this right? But you see these are the wrong questions and the wrong approach.  My brain would jump to resentment as I heard the days and months of others, knowing I could have been right there with them.  I would beat myself up, still do at times. I felt weak, lost and forgotten. 

But I have come to realize everybody did not leave you.  They are paving the way for you.  They are clearing the path so you can follow them, making it easier for you to keep going.  No matter how many times you fall down, they will come back for you, pick you up and help you keep going.  This is not a race, or a destination, this is your life and for me, my sanity. 

Flip the script as you listen to others share their days, see them as personal triumphs for your fellow sober trail blazers.  I have come to realize this journey is mine and mine alone, but that does not mean I have to do it alone.  I need help, I need others to show me the way, to help me not get lost. I want the numbers, need the days to be honest, to keep ticking along.  I know now, the counting of days from others is my inspiration, the light that leads me on my way.  I need not compare or resent, I need to embrace and applaud others, as I know those before me are my guides to my long term sobriety. I am grateful for those before me, always.

~K from the Hill Country

The Roots, The Branches and The Leaves

Every tree has roots that hold them to a place in the dirt.  Ever tree has branches or off shoots that showcase buds that turn into leaves.

We often refer to our families of origin as our family tree with branches of members and leaves that off shoot and come and go, change shape and color, and re-budding time and time again.  As we grow up and begin to grow our own family, we begin to plant our own set of roots and those roots begin to burrow onto our fiber and our being.  They hold us to the place, time and people that make up our family.  Throughout my life my family has grown and morphed, by this I mean, my family was sometimes made up more of close friends and their families, other times my extend family of origin and then changing again to my family nucleus made up of my husband, two sons and two dogs.

The nucleus has also included close friends as they have come in and out of our lives over the many years we have been together but nonetheless our party of four plus two fur babies has been the constant for a very long time now making up our immediate family tree trunk and branches.  

Our roots run deep and our trunk although slightly crooked stands tall nonetheless.  Time and awareness can make us either starve the tree of water, prune it too far or neglect it in other ways.  Or you can water, fertilizer and prune the tree so that it flourishes.  

In my case I have waffled on feeding and watering our family tree and at other times starving it causing the trunk to slant and roots to shrivel and loss grip on the earth and place that holds the tree in place.

As the years have gone by and so many things has changed one thing has remained and progressed that has caused the neglect to the tree. The drinking and havoc it has caused.  Although the drinking ramped up there were other things under the soil that kept starving the roots.  The resentment, the depression and the growing belief that the love was gone.  

I can’t say the exact point in time the love seemed to slip away or exactly why.  Perhaps we were never meant to be in the first place but just never took the space and time to examine that.  I know I play a big part in that ambivalence as I have for the vast majority of my adult life.  Always looking for the person who would sweep me up and be the one.  Always moving too fast and never really knowing who I was or what I wanted.  

But in this family tree there really was not an option I felt for walking away or moving away like I had done so many times before.  This time there were other people involved, my boys who so badly needed a sturdy tree that could help them change, evolve and grow so they could be the strong branches and the allow their leaves to continue to bud, grow, change and repeat.

When we make choices to hide or dissolve into our bad habits we leave very little space for those we love or who love us and need us.  I think about my actions, distance and numbness everyday.  I am defiant as a mother due to my own choices and the circumstances I have put myself in.  When the roots don’t hold you or your family to the ground you can falter, making your responses or lack there of worse creating even more distance between you and the ones you love. 

So this where I have the choice to open up for my children and keep the other parts of my sorrow and loveless marriage out of the picture.  Rise up and be present for my family or at least part of it.  There is no real choice to uproot the tree right now as it would devastate the branches and leaves forever.  Instead I need to look inside and be stronger, bring more clarity and peace to my home and not drink.  Remove the fog, the fuzzy head and shame just be real and be there for my boys.  I can take care of the rest later when it is safe to uproot the tree without damaging the branches and the leaves.

I share this here because I don’t want to falter, I will come back when it is tough and read these words so I know to stay the course and remember the to feed, fertilize and water my family tree.  After all it is a family tree, and my family deserves more and better from me.

~K from the Hill Country

So Small

I am so small
My world is so small
I live life rolled up in a tight ball 
The space I possession just becomes less and less
My life is a fucking mess


My world is so small because I shut out all
Leaving no space or time for anyone to pay a visit at all
Shutting everyone out except for one who will definitely lead me to fall


I am small because I choose to be 
I was not always this small but my addiction restricted me 
Too small to raise my voice for help
Ego to big to really look at myself


My life is a mess because I gave up
Reigning chaos and letting everything go amuck
Never caring about anyone else, only me and how numb I could get


I am so small because I ignore it all 
Living among the lies that strangle me 
Minimizing my space so there is no way to get free 
Smaller and smaller my existence gets like anvil I can’t get off my chest


My world is so small as I have left room for only drink
I hide away so they won’t see my world is made up of only one thing
All else falls away or gets pushed out, there is no more room in my one room house


My life is small
I am small 
The mess of if all is so big it has devoured me
Small will just have to fit since I am too afraid to set myself free or ask for the key

Clean

Reflections of Striving for Sobriety During A Pandemic

In these current days and times I have been cleaning more than I ever have out of necessity really, to keep my family safe and healthy.  As I wipe every handle and countertop, I think about the word clean and what it means to me when it comes to my drinking.  I am not clean or sober, but striving for that now more than ever so I can keep my sanity and wits about me.  I am heading into a time where my kids will need to be home schooled and cared for emotionally and spiritually.  I need to be clean or clear minded to do that in an effective way for them.  

I am trying to keep my house in order, putting away dishes, cleaning bathrooms, washing sheets and towels way too often.  Washing clothes and dishes everyday to provide an appearance of a clean and less chaotic environment.  As I do these chores I continue to ask myself, how will you strive to keep your mind and body clean during and after this time?  Well, if I am going to put this much effort and sweat into keeping my house clean, I most definitely need to keep myself sober.  There really is no difference, as I write this entry I am cleaning my thoughts and changing my outlook about myself and my drinking. Learning how to clean up the thoughts, actions that keep me stuck in that mess.  It is truly time to roll up my sleeves and get down on my hands and knees and clean up me and my approach to living a much better life.

How will you rise up and be the best mom you can right now, and be able to hold up over this long stretch of time to enable your family and yourself to thrive? Well, let’s start by not isolating or numbing to the point I can’t remember things.  Breathe through the news everyday, or maybe just turn it off entirely.  Engage with my kids, talk to them about everything that is going on, answer their questions and more importantly comfort them, now more than ever.  Be present for them, help them with their new normal of school work from home, help them adjust to very little interaction with friends, and teach them to be good to each other and others in this very strange time.

I can’t say I have all the answers but little things are shifting for me now more than ever.  Not only caring more about making sure the house is clean and organized, but thinking about the reasons I would drink and deriving a plan for not drinking as things seem to cave in on me.  I am making mental plans for myself, physical plans as well, about how I will move my body more, making choices to spend time with my family versus numbing out to the point of black out and forgetting everything from the night before.  That will not make it better, only worse, as the anxiety and guilty takes over with no where for it or me to go.  I won’t lie my anxiety is very high right now and I have tremendous trouble sleeping but I working the plan to help me sleep like less screen time before bed, eating dinner earlier, mediation before bed as well.  I know these things work because when I have used them in the past and stuck with them for long periods of time I sleep much better and I feel much better.  

Cleaning everyday, is the new normal for me, just as working more solidly on my sobriety is my new normal. They go hand in hand, as a two prong plan.  The more I clean up the outside, I am cleaning up the inside. 

Stuck vs. Stubborn

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I keep asking myself am I stubborn or just stuck? Why can’t I keep going, even when it is going so good? I will get so very far and start diving into “the work” and then it is like a switch clicks and I am back on the crazy train again.

I know better! However, I am trying to assess if this cycle is because I am stuck or just stubborn? If I were stuck this would mean I am trapped and had no way out but I do have a way out.

I know I am not stuck or trapped because I hold the key. I am am the only who can set myself free. Yet even when I do set myself free, I end up locking myself back up in this hell.

So am I just stubborn? Am I determined to not change or refuse to admit this shit is not doing a damn thing for me? Yet I keep drinking. Am I too stubborn to stop because I can’t admit to myself I need to stop. No, I know on every level and fiber of my being I need to stop. I am so stubborn that can’t admit to myself that I can live without this poison? Or is it that I can’t admit I will have to live without it for the rest of my life.

I keep coming back to this question, am I stuck or just too stubborn? But I believe this is just another addicted mind game because I know I am not stuck. I am letting my ego get in the way of my sobriety. There I said it, wrote out right here. I am my own problem. I am letting my ego get in the way. I am too proud to admit I need to give it up for good.

Even when I know how great things are when I am sober, I know I will have to start to examining the things in my life that are causing me to go back to drinking. I don’t use the tools I have acquired, I stack them up, but don’t use them when I really need them.

If I stop and reflect I know my ego is in the way. I know I am being stubborn but not because I refuse to change, it is that I don’t want examine the things in my life that need work or need to change because they are big, scary things that shake me to my core. So instead of using my tools I drink and start the cycle all over again.

I have a choice to make and I know it. With each relapse I become more self aware that I need to use my tools and make progress toward long-term sobriety. I need to stop coasting and start living, hard or not I know I am not stuck and I am somewhat stubborn but my motivations are strong and I will push through this time to get to the other side. I know what is waiting for me there and it so worth it!

One thing won’t fix it all

We are always looking for the quick fix, the instant gratification, but we know it really does n’t really exist.  Most things, almost everything takes work, most of the time hard work.  Fixing things is not always easy and can be messy, frustrating and challenging.  If you are like me you avoid those things by looking for the quick fix or just sweeping it under the rug.  I am speaking to emotional things here not the overflowing toilet or the broken toy for my son.  The stuff we try to fix about ourselves or within ourselves. 

For me that is drinking, to start anyway.  I kept telling myself if I fix that everything, else will fix it’s self.  Really? How could I be so naive to believe that if I stopped drinking my marriage would magically get better or my relationship with my children would just instantly be perfect like Leave it to Beaver?

The things I drank over were vast, motherhood, relationships, shame, inability to be perfect, worrying about how other people would treat me or my family, sports, childhood disagreements for my kids, the list goes on and on. But these things to drink at and my feelings were so much deeper I just never took the time to look at them, I would just observe them and then drink them away.  Well, at these that is what I thought. These feelings and worries never went away in fact they began to amplify, and over time become overwhelming to the point I would have so much anxiety It was hard to breathe and I shifted to a shell of myself and a dark place that just kept getting smaller and smaller with what felt like no escape. 

I never really realized that I was drinking to avoid, numb or just live in denial about how things were transpiring in my life and how things were becoming messier and messier due to my drinking and checking out.  I did not really fix things.  I denied they existed, got defensive about them and when asked or confronted I would fly into a rage. I often cried in secret when it all became too much and about what a failure and fuck up I was as a professional, wife, mother and friend. I would drive home from work in the dark and scream at the top of my lungs because I had no outlet accept to drink. Those primal screams were terrifying, crazy and I seriously believed I was starting to loose my mind.  My reality was slipping away and I knew the curtain was coming down on my reality, soon I would truly be found out or I was going to go some place very dark that I was not sure I would be able to come back from.  

When I finally realized that drinking too much was going ruin me and that I was using drinking as way to not really address anything I was terrified of. By that time it was getting out of control and manifesting in very bad ways. Resentment, shame, anger, fear, and failure, worry and most important I think a lack of love or caring about myself or some of those close to me.  The resentment and shame made me more anger, which in turn meant many outbursts, lashing out, blaming others, being mean and hateful. 

My ability to love my boys and husband was getting further and further away from me and I was both terrified and ambivalent at the same time.  Who had I become or should I say who have I always been, this scared little girl who hid from everyone and everything, never letting anyone in so they could not hurt me.  There were moments in time I would have been happy to walk away, free myself from all of their shit and lack of respect for me.  But there was the other side that I knew if I turned my back, I would lose myself forever and devastate the people I loved.  

I stopped drinking twice now for good stretches of time, not years but 3 and 4 months chunks of time and many things changed for the better but new things emerged or became more clear which also terrified me.  

In these periods of time, I became more engaged with my boys and talked with them vs. yelling at them and being impatient.  I could rationalize with them and discuss things to work through them versus huge blowouts and long stretches of hatred and shame.  I would listen to them, most importantly vs. talking at them.  I spent more time with them and was more available. 

Those were the good things.  The other things that emerged were how much I was resentful of my husband and how much I very much hated the way he talked to me and treated me at times.  The verbal noise and disrespect was blurred and far away when I was drinking or caused reactions that were not healthy but when I was not drinking I was able to see things clearly and my responses were not combative or childish.  They were mature, thoughtful and came from a place of clarity and strength.  I would shut down arguments and call him out when he was creating stories or future tripping where before I would spiraled with him and been overly anxious and always worried about why people did not like me, why I was the problem, why I was weak etc.

When I stopped drinking I would be able to shut down unproductive conversations.  I would simply walk away after it had started calling out the fact my husband was telling himself stories or calling him out on his behavior, including a rationale explanation for why it was not right and I wouldn’t stand for it anymore.

I started questioning what I was doing with my life.  What I really wanted to do, who I wanted to be with and how or if I should make different decisions for the future.  I was starting to dive into how I go to this place, how I was not the mother or in the relationship I wanted to be.  You see it all stems back to the things we don’t want to fix or take the time to learn how to fix.  We just look for the quick fix which in my case became drinking. When I was younger I would just pick up and move so I did not have deal with the mess I made in my currently world. I would run away from everything and everyone.  I would blame everyone else and never examine myself.  In all honesty, I did not even know how to look at myself or my behaviors or that learning to love yourself was a thing.  I was what everyone else wanted me to be.  I would move, I would switch jobs, friend groups, anything I could to escape myself but you know the old saying “no matter where you go, there your are looking back at yourself in the mirror.”

I would try to change myself, want I liked, who I liked so that I could move forward.  Never stopping to do the work to fix what was really going within me.  I kept jumping into new relationships and looking for those relationships to take everything away, the fantasy of finding “the one”.  

I would go back to drinking during these two stretches only to realize very quickly things would go right back to the same place, no progress to the me I wanted to become. I would go right back to isolation, just not engaging, checking out completely.  Disappearing quite honestly. And that shook me to my core!

Now that I have sober AGAIN for a good stretch of time, I am trying to do the right work with the right tools.  Even if it leads to hard discussions, choices I am facing them.  I will not rush, or move fast but make very solid and investigated decisions.  I will take the time and re-engage, work my way back to who I want to become and how I want relationships to be, healthy, mature, nurturing, loving and open/honest. 

There are no quick fixes, there are no magic spells, there is only the work that makes us stronger, smarter and more alive.  I am in this for long haul and time is important but this is not a race and I am not looking for instant gratification.  Only love and admiration.

Why Ya Gotta Be So Mean!

We all go through life and encounter people who are just not very nice.  It is enviable I guess, although I often wonder why people need to be so mean.  As an adult we learn to understand why people may come across as unfriendly, rude, stand-offish and the ultimate in your face down right mean.  We know these people maybe very insecure, have terrible home lives, are full of shame or just need to make others feel bad to make themselves feel better.

With all those things in mind I am still perplexed and bewildered why adults, who should know better, act like spoiled crazy ass brats! I guess we live in an age where people don’t need to know one another or make new friends.  Everyone judges everyone before they even know anything about them, either by making their own judgements because someone may not look the same as they do, or live the same way they do.  Then, there are those who judge based on what they have heard from others and just want to be part of a click.  Watch out the click is very fast to turn on you if you make a mis-step.

I have really been pondering all the reasons why people are unfriendly and down right rude or mean.  I have seen and experienced this lately with my kids and our family.  I try to be the person who does not judge, or make fast impressions and give people time to warm up.  I am not in race or need to impress others and seek out friendships that are real and honest.  I don’t need to be friends with everyone nor is that my goal as I know it is for some.  Give me a few good friends and all is good!

So how do we maintain good examples for our children when they encounter mean people? How do we stay strong and maintain a good face when adults are mean to us, whether they are judging us or hearing things from others about us.  When people turn their backs, don’t talk to you or wave how do we not get sucked into their swirl? Especially when you secretly drink too much and are riddled with anxiety, shame and self loathing. This combination of hatred from the inside and outside can be enough to send anyone into swirl that may not be possible to get out of.

I am adult women who has amazing career, traveled the world, been a friend to many, a good mom and wife.  I pride myself on helping others and being there for them when they need help or someone to listen.  So how it is that more and more I find people who are not friendly, “don’t need any new friends” and basically don’t care if you exist and make that very obvious. They don’t like you because of jealous about you, kids, kids abilities at sports, or the perception of more money. This list goes on and on.

If I told you that it did not bother me I would be lying. I find it hurtful, mean and so “high school” to be honest.  I will not apologize for not being just like them, or look like them. We all choose different paths in life.  No judgement here I proclaim, but damn people there is no need to make someone feel like dirt or less than because they don’t conform to your made up model! 

When these types of behaviors happen to my children I try so hard to remain strong and help them through “be the bigger person”, “rise above it”, “understand that it really is not about you.”  But damn, I just want to squash those other kids and parents for their mean, hateful and irresponsible behavior.  I am dying on the inside while trying to hold it together for my children who don’t understand what they did wrong or how to maneuver through the mob mentality that is trying to take them down or lock them out.

So how does this relate to the topic of drinking?

Well, think about what happens when you mix the external negative forces with the internal negative forces. It becomes an incredible force that literally traps you in a shame spiral and a state of panic, anxiety, and self hatred. You doubt everything about yourself, you begin to believe you can’t do anything right, you’re so afraid of more daggers being throw in your direction OR that they will catch on to the fact you’re drinking way too much and turn up the hatred and badmouthing.  

Literally, for the past 10 years or more, this has been my life and the absolute pain and isolation that comes with not only the addiction and paranoia. Our addictive brains make these outside forces of the mean and hateful things, so much bigger and all consuming as we can differentiation the reality from our distorted view of what people are doing to each other to earn some perceived space in society.  Bringing everyone else down to raise themselves up.

Now that I am not numbing and hiding any longer, I am facing these bad circumstances and working very hard to be present and provide clear guidance for my children.  It still hurts and my heart gets broken more often than not, but I will take every dagger they throw at me just to ensure I raise a child who can stand own his own two feet and earn his spot in life.  I truly hope our society can grow and move forward to care about each other vs. running over people to get their perceived place in life. It is like my mother always told me, “you never know what goes on behind closed doors.”  

Although I continue to keep my door open even though it exposes me to the draggers of others I am showing my children the right way to treat people.

Such a dark place for children to grow up in these days but at least my children have a sober mom.

No Cool-aid Here!

Allow me to introduce myself. I am a friend to many, daughter, mother, professional, wife. I used to be person with very questionable drinking behaviors. In other words a lush, a person who could not stop drinking, manic and most often bat shit crazy. My life became crushingly small and I began to fade away into a very dim place.

I would crush it at work, fail miserably at home and try everyday to figure out how to make it better. But I continued to drink the cool-aid, just like when I was a kid. Sugary goodness that we all knew was rotting our teeth and making us crazy hyper but we drank it anyway.

Cool-aid was a treat as a kid, then for me wine became the cool-aid of my adult life, it was still sugary and sweet but it was taking more from me than my teeth!

For me “cool-aid” is not just about the wine. It is about all the norms we hold ourselves to even when we know better. How to dress, act, who to be friends with, how to be a mom or the good wife. You name it! I was drinking the Cool-aid about all of it but not anymore.

I stopped drinking and starting thinking about how I needed to find my spark again and stop drinking the god damn Cool-aid!

Come along for the ride on my the journey of sobriety, finding myself (again?) and living life with all the ups, downs and in between.